Available in health food stores and online, Kombucha tea boasts many health benefits—one of which being weight loss. No major medical research supports this claim, but proponents of the drink promise that it will help regulate your natural systems and lead to better health. Store-bought Kombucha tea presents few possible side effects, but be wary of any home-brewed versions.
Kombucha tea is a sparkling drink made by fermenting a mother of bacteria and yeast in black or green tea. Kombucha tea tastes a little like apple cider, but may be unpleasant to some. The tea contains vinegar, B vitamins and trace amounts of chromium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Kombucha may be made at home using a purchased starter yeast sample (often called the mushroom) and growing it in a jar. This sample can then be used to ferment your own home-brewed tea.
Recommendations for weight loss vary and are unscientific, but those who have had success with Kombucha tea and weight loss recommend drinking 4 to 8 oz. 30 minutes prior to your main meals. Drinking a glass upon waking up in the morning is sometimes recommended to help stimulate the metabolism and reset your digestive system for the day.
The belief is that weight gain in many people is due to poor digestion and inability to process foods effectively. Kombucha tea supposedly brings your digestive system to a healthier state of being so it is less likely to hold onto excess pounds. Kombucha reportedly gives you more energy as well, which could result in more movement and calorie burning. Drinking any liquid before a meal helps you quench thirst, which is often mistaken for hunger, and gives you a greater sense of fullness—both of which can lead to a lower overall intake of calories.
In addition to regulating digestion, Kombucha is said to improve immune function, ward off cancer and facilitate liver functions. Some claim the trace minerals in Kombucha help with high blood pressure, menopause and Alzheimer's. In the underweight, Kombucha tea reportedly helps with weight gain so people can become more vigorous and healthy.
Kombucha may cause allergic reactions and upset stomachs in sensitive people. Beware of home-brewed Kombucha tea, which may have been subject to non-sterile conditions. Never make your Kombucha in a ceramic pot, as the acids from Kombucha can cause a diffusion of lead from the ceramic’s glaze, resulting in lead poisoning.